Massage intervention for promoting mental and physical health in infants aged under six months.
ABSTRACT Infant massage is increasingly being used in the community for low-risk babies and their primary care givers. Anecdotal claims suggest benefits for sleep, respiration, elimination and the reduction of colic and wind. Infant massage is also thought to reduce infant stress and promote positive parent-infant interaction.
The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of infant massage in promoting infant physical and mental health in population samples.
Searches were undertaken of CENTRAL 2005 (Issue 3), MEDLINE (1970 to 2005), PsycINFO (1970 to 2005), CINAHL (1982 to 2005), EMBASE (1980 to 2005), and a number of other Western and Chinese databases.
Studies in which babies under the age of six months were randomised to an infant massage or a no-treatment control group, and utilising a standardised outcome measuring infant mental or physical development.
Weighted and standardised mean differences and 95% confidence intervals are presented. Where appropriate the results have been combined in a meta-analysis using a random effects model.
Twenty-three studies were included in the review. One was a follow-up study and thirteen were included in a separate analysis due to concerns about the uniformly significant results and the lack of dropout. The results of nine studies providing primary data suggest that infant massage has no effect on growth, but provides some evidence suggestive of improved mother-infant interaction, sleep and relaxation, reduced crying and a beneficial impact on a number of hormones controlling stress. Results showing a significant impact on number of illnesses and clinic visits were limited to a study of Korean orphanage infants. There was no evidence of effects on cognitive and behavioural outcomes, infant attachment or temperament. The data from the 13 studies regarded to be at high risk of bias show uniformly significant benefits on growth, sleep, crying and bilirubin levels.
The only evidence of a significant impact of massage on growth was obtained from a group of studies regarded to be at high risk of bias. There was, however, some evidence of benefits on mother-infant interaction, sleeping and crying, and on hormones influencing stress levels. In the absence of evidence of harm, these findings may be sufficient to support the use of infant massage in the community, particularly in contexts where infant stimulation is poor. Further research is needed, however, before it will be possible to recommend universal provision.
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ABSTRACT: Infantile colic is a common disturbance occurring in the first three months of life. It is a benign condition and one of the main causes of pediatric consultation in the early part of life because of its great impact on family life. Some pediatricians are prone to undervalue this issue mainly because of the lack of evidence based medicine guidelines. Up to now, there is no consensus concerning management and treatment. Literature reports growing evidence about the effectiveness of dietary, pharmacological, complementary and behavioral therapies as options for the management of infantile colic. Dietary approach, usually based on the avoidance of cow's milk proteins in breast-feeding mothers and bottle-fed infants, more recently has seen the rise of new special formulas, such as partially hydrolyzed proteins and low lactose added with prebiotics or probiotics: their efficacy needs to be further documented. Investigated pharmacological agents are Simethicone and Cimetropium Bromide: the first is able to reduce bloating while the second could reduce fussing crying, but it has been tested only for severe infantile colic. No other pain relieving agents have been proposed until now, but some clinical trials are ongoing for new drugs.There is limited evidence supporting the use of complementary and alternative treatments (herbal supplements, manipulative approach and acupuncture) or behavioral interventions.Recent studies have focused the role of microbiota in the pathogenesis of this disturb and so new treatments, such as probiotics, have been proposed, but only few strains have been tested.Further investigations are needed in order to provide evidence-based guidelines.Italian Journal of Pediatrics 06/2014; 40(1):53. · 1.24 Impact Factor
- Infant Mental Health Journal 03/2012; 33(2). · 0.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether massage therapy can be used as an adjunct intervention to induce sleep in infants born preterm.Pediatric Physical Therapy 01/2014; 26(4):405-410. · 1.29 Impact Factor